The rise in popularity of non-alcoholic beers shows no signs of slowing, with recent sales figures blowing away expectations nationwide. Athletic Brewing saw this trend coming, and helped facilitate the explosive growth, with its initial release of non-alcoholic brews in 2018. Now it looks to expand production capacity to meet rising demand with $50 million raised in Series C funding, Brewbound reports.

This third round of funding will be used to increase production for East Coast markets and will be centered around a second manufacturing facility in Connecticut. The original brewery in the state is capable of producing 12,000 barrels a year, while a second facility in San Diego (a product of $17.5 million raised in the brand’s second round of funding) is already operating at capacity, even after expanding to add an additional 125,000 barrels annually. Despite this, the brand has still found itself incapable of meeting demand, according to Food Dive.

Athletic Brewing’s lineup of investors includes sports world superstars J.J. Watt, Justin Tuck, and Lance Armstrong. The brand also recently announced a partnership with World Cup gold-medalist and LGBTQ activist Alex Johnson for a non-alcoholic blood-orange IPA, Rainbow Wall.

Since its launch, VinePair has recognized the quality of Athletic’s brews. Its Run Wild IPA became the first non-alcoholic beer to appear on VinePair’s top 50 beers of the year list in 2019. Athletic Brewing’s founder, Bill Shufelt, also featured on VinePair’s Next Round Podcast in July 2020, discussing the surge in demand for non-alcoholic beers.

With health and wellness trends continuing to gain traction, consumers are increasingly opting for low-calorie, low-alcohol substitutes, and Athletic Brewing is capitalizing on these demands. As the warm summer months approach, the appetite for great-tasting non-alcoholic alternatives will surely only grow.

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